Shanthi, Asian Elephant, Donated to NZP by Sri Lanka

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"Shanthi," a young female Asian elephant born c. 1975, is donated to the National Zoological Park by the people of Sri Lanka to commemorate the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike suggested the donation. The baby elephant, whose mother had been shot by poachers, was found trapped in a rock hole by wildlife officials. She was brought to the Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage where she was nursed back to health. Her name means "peace" in Singhalese. On April 2, 1977, Sri Lankan Ambassador Neville Kanakaratne formally presented the young elephant to the zoo. Miss Punitha Gunaratne, the eight year old daughter of embassy official Wijaya Gunaratne, presented the elephant to Amy Carter, the nine year old daughter of President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, who accepted her on behalf of the United States. Assistant Secretary David Challinor and Zoo director Theodore H. Reed welcomed Shanthi to the National Zoo.


  • Challinor, David
  • Carter, Rosalynn
  • Carter, Amy
  • Reed, Theodore H
  • Kanakaratne, Neville
  • Bandaranaike, Sirimavo
  • Gunaratne, Punitha
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • Bicentennial of the American Revolution


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 365, National Zoological Park, Office of Public Affairs, Records, Box 23, Folder 2, "Sri Lanka Newsletter," April 1977, pp. 1-3

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


April 2 1977


  • Shanthi (Elephant)
  • Animals
  • Gifts
  • Elephants


Sri Lanka

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